An enviable knack for gift giving translates to a thoughtfully collected home in West Hollywood
Written byMiranda CrowellMay 10, 2018
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Thomas J. Story
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Ask about any corner of Simone LeBlanc and Ross Jacobson’s house, and there’s bound to be a tale of discovery. There’s the Danish ottoman he scored after falling down a rabbit hole of online auctions; the coffee table she unearthed at an estate sale; and various objects by artists from California and beyond. “Ross and I are drawn to storied items,” says LeBlanc, who runs a namesake site specializing in curated gifts. “And we both love the hunt.” The couple has been filling their West Hollywood home with treasures ever since they bought it in 2012, two years before their daughter, Lillian, was born.
A major renovation of the 1912 structure—which involved tearing down walls to open up rooms—gave them a clean, bright backdrop for decorating. With one dramatic exception (the cinnamon-hued dining room), they’ve kept the decor on the subdued end of the spectrum. “Ross calls my style ‘100 shades of taupe,’ ” says LeBlanc. “But I think a neutral scheme is the best way to show off pieces that are truly special.” LeBlanc and Jacobson, a film and TV producer, use their expansive backyard almost as much as the home itself—and carry their laid-back aesthetic outdoors. Rather than opt for a matching patio set, they paired a vintage table with new metal benches; an overgrown bougainvillea adds a sense of exuberance. As much as collecting is in the couple’s DNA, however, the two also exercise restraint, rotating favorite items in and out of rooms to prevent clutter, and not rushing to fill empty spaces in the home. “We’ll wait years until we find just the right piece for a spot,” says LeBlanc. “The house is never finished—and that’s part of the joy.”
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Embrace Open-Air Living
Family life and parties naturally flow between the house and yard. An elevated patio sheltered by abundant bougainvillea serves as a true outdoor room, thanks to a layer of rustic textiles.
The inspiration for 3-year-old Lillian’s play room decor came straight from the California landscape. “I wanted her to have a wildflower wall to give her the feeling of being in nature,” says LeBlanc. A rattan daybed below the silk flowers completes the romantic style.
In the kitchen, the couple installed Shaker style cabinets painted dove gray. “We wanted a simple canvas that we could build upon,” says LeBlanc. Woven baskets tucked into cabinets corral loose items and add a textural element to the space.
In the dining room, Jacobson wanted bold wallpaper, while LeBlanc favored something quieter. “Earthy red walls were our compromise, and they were absolutely the right choice,” she says. The geometric pendant light, 1930s Spanish table (snagged on One Kings Lane), and the high impact artwork (a painting on a hide by artist Frohawk Two Feathers) give the room an off hand eclecticism that acts as a counterpoint to the more relaxed spaces in the house.
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True to LeBlanc’s talent for impromptu vignettes, her daughter’s art supplies and a gallery of her work populate the surfaces by the kitchen window. “It’s important to us that we live with art, whether it’s a piece we saved up for or paintings Lillian made at school,” says LeBlanc. A vintage table and new chairs are unified by a soft chartreuse hue for a hint of color.